Debate Over Obese Boy Removed From Mother Goes to Court

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The debate over whether a morbidly obese eight-year-old boy should have been taken away from his mother to be placed in foster care will continue in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Wednesday afternoon.

Mary Louise Madigan, administrator for the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, said it is a pretrial hearing.

Madigan would not confirm if it is part of a placement trial for the boy, who weighs more than 200 pounds.

The boy was removed from his mother in Cleveland Heights after a doctor referred the case to DCFS, Madigan said.

She said they worked with the mother for a year after the doctor alerted them to the boy’s health issue to try to help her control the boy’s weight.

Madigan said the boy was not removed for his weight, but rather because of “medical neglect.”

She said the boy has sleep apnea, which is exacerbated by his extreme weight, and it could eventually be life-threatening.

During the year they worked with the boy and his mother and they were enrolled in a nutrition program at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, but the boy continued to gain weight, Madigan said.

DCFS workers have the boy in a foster home and want to see if he can lose weight and become healthier if he is in a different environment.

Madigan said their goal is to eventually reunite the boy with his mother.

Rely on Fox 8 News and FOX8.com to update this story with details on the outcome of the pretrial hearing.